Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It Almost Shouldn't Work

In every fisherman there must be -- there has to be -- a speck of the possible. Like a scratch on the frames of your glasses: something you can’t help but see through. It’s not optimism, per se (or I’d never be able to consider myself one). Rather, the possible: that which can be. Not just what you hope, or believe. Confidence and conviction can only take you so far before you’re left in the empty lot of possibilities...the haunty what-ifs. And it’s those possibilities that fishermen hold near even if ever unspoken, dwelling in them as they hold their breath for more. Passing in and out of consciousness of time, losing minutes and hours. Sometimes days. To futile attempts, not for lack of any effort.

Because the probability is low. You know that. “It almost shouldn’t work,” you were told -- hot, tired, and mud-laced with a six weight.


Almost.  

Yet sometimes it does. Sometimes you watch a long managed cast to the shadow-with-a-tail, lay down smooth, quiet, and straight. Sometimes you see the shadow turn (almost too quickly, you second-guess) and then stop. And it works, you think, it works, as you watch him set the hook and smile.

And an old-woman-dog-walker in teal-blue says, cool


 
Possibilities are what keep you from giving up, from calling it quits when the fishing is hard or when the conditions are bad. And from giving up on life, too -- because there’s always the question of another morning. And another cast, both demanding an answer: like a job you’ve somehow mistakenly applied for and been offered. Yet in any case you’ve found yourself here, and you never know just what’s going to happen. Could be good; could not be. But you’ve got to give it a go because the possibilities are endless, even if the the probability is low -- driving you crazy if you think about it too much.


And maybe that explains a few things, because you do.


50 comments:

  1. I guess I should start carrying my net...just in case. Possibilities eh?

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    1. Howard - Ah, I rarely carry a net...perhaps a sign that I'm lacking hope. Here's to possibilities!

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  2. Delusions of granduer that ocassionally miraculously come true are the key to everything good.

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  3. Erin you are right... again! Though, in deference to Trevor's comment, my delusions are simply delusions of adequacy!

    Regular Rod

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    1. Regular Rod - Ha! I like that addendum. ;-) And thanks!

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  4. I had a long fruitless day Sunday, but every time I was ready to quit I'd see another big fish or black hole that just had to be fished. You know, Just in case.

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  5. Ah, the countless fishing analogies I made while job hunting. ;)
    Great snappy piece, and I good reminder to try for those carp once more.

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    1. PdeW - Right? And yes, go get after those carp!

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  6. Damn. That's good, Erin. Very good. Great post.

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  7. Hope is the breath of the soul. Fly fishing, in particular fly fishing for Carp, helps my soul to breath.

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    1. Mr. P - I certainly agree with you on that!

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  8. "Passing in and out of consciousness of time, losing minutes and hours. Sometimes days. To futile attempts, not for lack of any effort."

    Amen to that Erin.

    Optimism, so very important to any angler, someone once said that nothing can be done without hope and confidence, I much rather wet a line with the youthful feeling that is optimism than a feeling of pessimism.

    Great read as always.

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    1. Mark - "I much rather wet a line with the youthful feeling that is optimism than a feeling of pessimism." And it works much better, too! I think fishing is more of a mental game than anything most times. Thanks as ever!

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    1. Dave - Thanks! Jay took it...and had quite the patience getting that carp to stay!

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  10. Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
    Man never Is, but always To be blest:
    The soul, uneasy and confin'd from home,
    Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
    – Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man

    bkb

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    1. bkb - True lines...and beautiful.

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  11. That next cast and the possibilities it holds...that's what keeps us all out there on the water. Great piece , and as you stated , those words hold true for more than just a fishing analogy.

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    1. HighPlainsFlyFisher - Thanks as always for stopping by....and for the good words!

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  12. Now this was the Tony Robbins pep talk I needed this morning.

    Top notch. Also, nice description of the OWDW in teal blue.

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    1. Rhythm Rider - Right on! And the OWDW was a hoot. :)

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  13. And then there are that days that you fish and hope nothing happens - that the joy in the rhythm of the cast, in the fresh air, in the natural surroundings, is too consuming be interrupted. To be a fisherman is to be constantly pulled by the possibilities and while it almost shouldn't work, it's just fine when it doesn't. That's a possibility too.

    Especially when I fish.

    As always, a fine, thoughtful piece, Erin.

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    1. Mike - You're so very right. I've caught myself hoping nothing happens...nothing breaks up my rhythm. And then I wonder what the heck is wrong with me. But it's always nice to know it just isn't me. And thanks as always, Mike...hope you have a grand afternoon! Your last post has me imagining all sorts of things. ;)

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  14. Anything is possible in fishing Erin, at least that is what i tell myself, you just have to have the time to wait for it too happen LOL

    Keep up the great work, it is always a pleasure to catch up with you.

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    1. Tom - I tell myself that, too. And I think that's why we keep going out! Thanks as always for stopping by to read!

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  15. Anticipation,Positivity, Expectation and Hope are fast and easily learned by the angler. Patience however, the longest lesson that we continue to learn.
    Provocative Erin. Enjoyable as always.

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    1. Richard - Indeed...and at long last, I do not know if anyone ever masters it. Many thanks for reading, and for the comment, too!

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  16. The Optimist: The glass is half full.
    The Pessimist: The glass is half empty.
    The Realist: Eventually, I need more water.

    The Optimist: I will always catch a fish.
    The Pessimist: I will never catch a fish.
    The Realist: Sometimes, I catch a fish.

    And that is enough to keep me going.

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  17. Erin, you couldn't have written this at a better time. When I read this, it was more about life. Maybe life is leading us to fish or maybe fishing is what makes us live life the way we do. In that, we find that things may just be better than what we thought. Thank you for wording it so well.

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    1. backcountryfishnerd - You know, when I wrote this, I think I meant it more about life. I think we're on the same page! Thanks for reading and for your thoughts!

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  18. Just one more cast! I can really sum it up in one "word", yaneverknow!!

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  19. "and an old woman dog walker in teal says..cool"

    sometimes it just works...on many levels.

    Cheers

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    1. Sanders - Sometimes it does...and it feels good. Thank you!

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  20. "Mud laced with a six weight". Awesome. Follow that with Stevie Ray Vaughn laying down a monster riff. Great writing as usual. Letting me know what you feel and making me think. I've been riding we these guys. After a particularly challenging section one of the guys says to me, "Sometimes you just got to trust yourself".

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    1. Scott - Your comments always read as poetry. I love them.

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  21. From outside the circle and nothing but net!!!!!

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  22. "...give it a go because the possibilities are endless, even if the probability is low..". Love this approach to life. After all (as far as we know), it's the only one we have.

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    1. Hart - We just never know for sure about anything, really, do we...

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  23. Optimism is part of my DNA, or at least if not so actually, that is how I describe my attempts at all fishing. "If you don't go you won't know," "if you don't stay you might miss something," and even though I know it usually isn't the fly-"I might need that," thus my justification for burdening myself with fluff. Therefore I live for "and sometimes it does..." Great Erin.

    Gregg

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    1. Gregg - "Therefore I live for "and sometimes it does..." So very well put...and I do too. I do too...

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  24. Beautiful writing. Many of us would be long gone if it were not for hope.

    regards
    Dan

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    1. Dan - I know I would be...all the best to you, and hang in there...your fall and time and fewer people are coming soon.

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  25. Erin - your observations, and your ability to express them, continue to blow me away. This is perfect - concise, and yet says so much. Please don't stop.

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    1. Smithhammer - Thank you so much...and I won't stop!

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